Jetstar's New Zealand head Grant Kerr (left) and and flying
operations manager Richard Falkner in Dunedin last week to
celebrate five years of the airline operating in New
Zealand. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Cut-price Australian airline Jetstar will examine filling
the gap in direct transtasman flights to Dunedin but makes no
Jetstar's New Zealand head Grant Kerr and and flying
operations manager Richard Falkner were in Dunedin last week
as part of its celebrations marking five years of operating
in New Zealand.
The visit coincided with the news alliance partners Virgin
Australia and Air New Zealand were ending their summer Sydney
and Melbourne direct flights to Dunedin.
Mr Kerr said the airline would definitely have a look at the
opportunity provided by Virgin exiting that market.
''We are always interested to look at opportunities for
growth but any new routes have to be economically viable.''
Mr Falkner said Jetstar had additional aircraft on order and
would need to find routes to fly those planes as the
airline's services grew.
Mr Kerr said it had been proven in other centres that when
Jetstar moved in, it ''grew traffic on that particular
''We give choice and at an affordable price.''
However, he acknowledged the lack of competition at Dunedin
could be an issue.
''We do believe competition drives airfares and stimulates
Viewing Dunedin and Queenstown airports as a whole, Jetstar
was increasing market capacity, with an extra 16,000 seats
being put into Queenstown for winter.
It was hoped that extra capacity, along with low fares, would
attract Australians to the region.
''We're still trying to stimulate that.''
The airline was part of the team involved in getting night
flights operating in Queenstown.
It was still too soon to say how many flights would be added
as a result or when that would happen.
''It has to be economically viable and safe and we're doing
our own internal investigation on that.''
Mr Falkner said Jetstar fully supported what Queenstown was
trying to do but there was still infrastructure to be put in
place before night flights went ahead.
''It will give us more operational flexibility, especially in
the winter with short days.''
The airline was not seeking to increase its domestic flights
from Dunedin to destinations other than Auckland, he said.